Juliana Writes...

Living with the best of intentions

Monday, June 27, 2016

Whole30 Week 3: Experiences and Observations

Makeshift cobb salad that I ate like 3 days in a row.  Delish!

***Disclaimer: I wrote this post a few days ago and never got around to putting it up -- follow through is one of those things I'm working on.  We started easing out of the Whole30 last night and I'm excited to document the process; there are definitely some tummy aches in my future but daaaaamn did that frosty glass of ros√© taste GOOD.  Anyway, here's the Week 3 recap!

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Week 3 was a doozy, y’all.  It’s true what they say; right around day 17 or so you just become sort of uninspired in the kitchen!  It’s like, okay, we’ve made a lot of new and exciting things, but especially when work factors in it becomes difficult to plan meals that are both portable and you’re looking forward to eating, plus meals to cook and eat at home.  And it means I have very few food photos because there wasn’t a whole lot worth capturing.  But we survived without too much grumbling and are feeling pretty darn good!

One big moment for me in the third week was realizing that no matter what kind of challenge I’ve given myself, or commitment I’ve made, life is and will always be a fluid thing and being adaptable to that is more important than being so rigid that you might miss out on something great.

James and Wizard and I packed up on day #2 of the blistering heat wave we were experiencing and drove south to the Del Mar dog beach – nearly all the way to San Diego.  After two hours in the car and several more spent frolicking in the ocean we had the thought that maybe we should just get super spontaneous and stay the night.  We didn’t pack clothes or toiletries or anything more than a few Whole30 beach snacks, it was a genuinely spur of the moment thought – but holding us back was the idea of trying to find a place to eat where we could find Whole30 compliant meals and still have this luxurious getaway experience.  It got to the point that it became sort of stressful, we were pouring over restaurants nearby and thinking about how the best meal after the beach is always Mexican food, but what could we actually eat at a Mexican restaurant, and how do we resist the chips and salsa, and we don’t really want to spend that much money if we’re not going to thoroughly enjoy the meal, and, and, and…I finally took a pause and gave the issue a real moment of thought.

I realized that having a perfect Whole30 was actually one of the least important things in the world.  Yes, I’m loving the changes I’m feeling and the things I’m learning, but when it comes to having a romantic, impulsive adventure with my husband and my dog WHO GIVES A $@#! ABOUT A PERFECT DIET?!  It is so much grander to go out to eat and be mindful of what I’m ordering but allow myself to have a full experience than to half-ass something that doesn’t need half-assing!  It felt sort of like a revelation, and that was very freeing.  In fact, I think light bulb experiences like that are a part of what the Whole30 is all about – figuring out the best way for yourself to eat in support of happy, healthy life.  Isn’t that the goal we’re all shooting for, Whole30 or not?

The funny thing is we didn’t actually end up staying – there were just too many variables that weren’t falling into place – and we did go home and happily eat a Whole30 meal.  But the whole thing felt like an unconditional victory; we moved with flexibility rather than adamancy and it brought about what I think are some very positive conversations. 

On that note, we’re ending our Whole30 five days early (Whole25?) because we have 4th of July plans and feel like it’s probably not a great idea to dive into them after only a few days post-super-clean-diet.  On Sunday we’ll be beginning the reintroduction process, which will look different for both of us – I’ll be experimenting with dairy and soy but not so much gluten, whereas James is ready to see how bread and corn feel, and we both plan to have a drink – beer for him and wine for me.  I’m excited to see how this next step goes and to keep quite a few of the values the Whole30 instills as constants in our diets!

Chicken on roasted broccoli and curried cauliflower rice

And finally, a few observations during week 3:

Cravings are nearly gone.  It’s weird, I know the mac and cheese would taste good but I don’t feel compelled to eat it.  Like, at all.  The bagel and the grilled cheese are gone from my thoughts.  Alcohol sounds good but by no means necessary.

Feeling slimmer and bloat continues to be absent, which I love.  I’m so interested to see what brings that back and so excited to have control over it! 

Energy is steady.  I’m alert through the day and get tired at night.  Pretty sure this is how you’re supposed to live life!

HOWEVER: I had one night of bad sleep and it destroyed me.  I was a completely useless wet blanket for the entire day.  So that was interesting. 

Otherwise sleep has remained strong and high quality.  I’m interested (and nervous) to see how a couple glasses of wine will affect that. 

Workouts are stronger!  I feel like my stamina has improved and it’s much easier to get up and go in the morning. 

I’m still not sick of eggs.  They say you’ll never want to see another egg again and there are a billion posts out there about eggless breakfasts to try to assuage the monotony – yeah, this is not something I’m experiencing.  Fried, boiled, poached, scrambled…still haven’t met an egg I don’t like. 

Roasted potatoes with ground beef, avocado, and a fried egg - this one was for James

I’ve reaped such massive benefits from this program.  “Quitting” a few days early doesn’t feel like a bad thing, I’ve learned so much and plan to attempt that 80-20 lifestyle we hear so much about; 80% basically stemming from the way we’ve been eating for the last 24 days.   I can’t wait to share the trials and tribulations of reintroductions!

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